The Basics of Life Insurance.
Why do I need Life Insurance?
This is an essential part of financial planning. One reason most people buy life insurance is to replace income that would be lost with the death of a wage earner. The cash provided can also can help ensure that your dependents are not burdened with significant debt when you die. The insurance proceeds could mean your dependents will not have to sell assets to pay outstanding bills or taxes. An important feature is that generally no income tax is payable on proceeds paid to beneficiaries. The death benefit of a life policy owned by a C corporation may be included in the calculation of the alternative minimum tax.
How much Insurance do I need?
Before buying life insurance, you should assemble personal financial information and review your family’s needs. There are a number of factors to consider when determining how much protection you should have. These include:
- any immediate needs at the time of death, such as final illness expenses, burial costs and estate taxes;
- funds for a readjustment period, to finance a move or to provide time for family members to find a job
- ongoing financial needs, such as monthly bills and expenses, day-care costs, college tuition or retirement.
Although there is no substitute for a careful evaluation of the amount of coverage needed to meet your needs, one rule of thumb used is to buy life insurance that is equal to five to seven times annual gross income.
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